Picture: JSE
Picture: JSE

Facebook’s share price rose 7.33% to $159.69 after releasing strong quarterly results, setting the tone for a global rebound on Thursday from Wednesday’s slump.

The Nasdaq-listed social media group’s rally, however, did not buoy its Chinese competitor Tencent which was down 0.93% to HK$383.20. This indicates its 31%-owner Naspers, which fell 2.47% to R2,951.60 on Wednesday, is likely to slide further on Thursday.

Facebook reported quarterly per share profit of $1.69, up from $1.04 a year earlier, while revenue rose nearly 50% to $11.97bn. Net income rose 63% to nearly $5bn, compared with $3bn a year ago, Dow Jones reported.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is scheduled to announce an interest rate decision at 1.45pm South African time. It is expected to hold interest rates at zero.

The rand was trading at R12.43 to the dollar, R15.14 to the euro and R17.34 to the pound at 6.45am.

It is a busy day on the economic data front, with Statistics SA scheduled to release February’s tourism and migration figures at 9am, March’s producer price index (PPI) at 11.30am, and February’s export and import unit value indices and March’s construction materials price indices at 12pm.

Investec Bank economist Lara Hodes forecasts farm and factory gate inflation, as measured by the annual change in PPI, will have moderated to about 4% in March from 4.2% in February.

"A decrease in petrol and diesel price pressure in March of 36c and 47c a litre respectively and sustained low food price inflation, will again be the main drivers of the low PPI number," Hodes said.

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